‘Rail concern’ for Newry MLA after Translink losses revealed

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Monday, August 28th, 2017

SDLP MLA for Newry and Armagh Justin McNulty has said that the reported black hole in Translink finances cannot hit local and cross border rail services. 

McNulty was speaking as Translink Chief Executive Chris Conway warned that the transport company would need an additional £12million from the public purse just to retain services at their current level.


Speaking to Newry Times, McNulty explained, “Public transport is supposed to be a priority for government here and yet it has seen its funding slashed by 20% over the last three years. This is an appalling indictment of successive Infrasture and Regional Development Ministers in that time.


“In recent months we have seen services reinstated between Newry and Belfast and these are very much welcome. However, they cannot be threatened by today’s warnings from Chris Conway. 

“Instead services should be allowed to grow and expand. If we are serious about protecting our environment and about improving our public transport provision, then Stormont must invest in rail and bus services. We need to see the development of the transport hub in Belfast, the hourly Enterprise Service and the expansion of the rail network to places like Armagh City.


The local MLA added, “Rail Services are being invested in through-out the world and we need to catch up on that investment. Bus services are a vital link, especially in rural communities. Today’s announcement by Chris Conway is of deep concern and his calls for a halt to the cuts to the public transport budget must be heeded.”


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